Ana Owens has played basketball since she was able to walk, talk, and run. A boys sport? Yeah, that’s a joke. Growing up, she earned the respect of every male athlete that has ever seen her play. 1,000+ point club in high school AND college, Indiana All-Star in high school (only the best 14 players in the state receive this accolade), on the all-time assists leaderboard in high school and college but, best of all, Professional Athlete. She’s received praise from some of the biggest social media influences and her social media following shows. She accomplished every goal that she has set out to when it comes to basketball. She has never shied away or backed down from a challenge and I am very confident that won’t start now. Ana was a four-year starter at the University of Cincinnati and now she will grace Germany with her basketball presence.
LRT Sports: What is the best piece of advice that you can offer a collegiate athlete that is looking to play professionally?
Ana: I would advise them to work as hard as they can in practice and in games in order to have as much college success as possible. Most agents and scouts look at not only what you did individually but also team wise. Do not focus on individual statistics but make sure you have team success as well in order for them to see you are a team player.
LRT Sports: What is the best piece of advice that a coach has given you? And who was that coach?
Ana: The best advice a coach has given me was to always work hard because when you are not working someone else is trying to get your spot. That coach happened to be my father which helped me a lot along my journey.
LRT Sports: Eating healthy is extremely important to all athletes, what are two foods that an athlete should not go without on a daily basis?
Ana: Two foods that an athlete should not go without on a daily basis is a green vegetable, whether that is celery with peanut butter or broccoli as a side for dinner, and any piece of fruit.
LRT Sports: What is one thing you wish you knew as a collegiate athlete that would have made your life easier?
Ana: I wish I would have known the possibilities of how inconsistent a program could be, not record wise but meaning changes within the team and coaching staff. I came from a high school team that rarely had any changes, so coming to a college and dealing with four different coaching staff and multiple teammates was different. It was not easy adapting every year but that is normal in college athletics and as simple and easy as it sounds I wish I would’ve knew more about that.
LRT Sports: What is the biggest lesson you learned as a result of competing in college athletics?
Ana: The biggest lesson I learned from competing in college athletics is trusting the process. Every person has a different path in college and with mine I had a lot of ups and downs. Being one of the top players from the very first time I stepped on the court, it was so much pressure. I had the individual success but never any team success until my junior and senior year. It felt like no matter how much I did individually it still wasn’t enough but I just had to continue playing my role and let the rest fall into place by trusting the process.
LRT Sports: What do you feel is the best two characteristics that a college athlete needs to have in order to be a great athlete?
Ana: The best two characteristics that a college athlete needs is hard work, and dedication. It may sound cliché but one can easily get distracted with the college lifestyle and not be focused on their sport. So you have to dedicate yourself even when you feel tempted to do other things that can lead you to not being focused.
LRT Sports: What advice can you give to an athlete who is looking to play more/get off the bench?
Ana: My advice is to be whatever the team needs at the time, if that is just going in to play defense be the best defender you can be. You have to be flexible and adaptable to whatever is needed at the time in order to get that playing time.
Photo by Cincinnati Bearcats
Questions for High School Athletes
LRT Sports: What advice can you give to high school athletes as far as social media is concerned?
Ana: My advice is to always make sure your social media is G-rated because you never know who is watching what you post or what you like. In today’s society anything you post will not go away so once you post you have to make sure it is something you will not regret and hurt you in the long run. Most college scouts look at your social media first to see if you would be a good look for the University and if you are posting inappropriate stuff that could cause you to lose a potential scholarship.
LRT Sports: What three questions are a must that recruits should ask a coach while on a recruiting visit?
Ana: How long is your coaching contract at this University?
How many incoming freshman and graduating seniors do you have?
Is there opportunity to earn playing time as a freshman?
LRT Sports: Do’s and don’ts while on a recruiting visit
Ana: Don’t ask a coach if you will start right away.
Don’t be too arrogant because there are always backups for your scholarship.
Be open to asking whatever questions you have.
Talk to players that play a lot and also players that don’t play at all so you can see and hear both sides.
LRT Sports: What is the funniest thing that happened to you while playing a game? (on the court)
Ana: The funniest thing that happened to me while playing a game is running into my teammate without looking on a transition break, which then caused me to travel. This then led to the other team getting the ball back.
LRT Sports: What is your go-to meal before a big game?
Ana: My go-to meal is baked chicken, broccoli, pasta with red sauce, bread and fruit on the side.
When doing research in the recruiting process for my daughter I came across the LRT Sports website. I was immediately intrigued as this was another dimension of the recruiting process that many people don't even consider. My daughter and I could "short list" schools based on the education she was looking for, as well as the opportunity to play her sport. LRT Sports not only gave us pertinent information into the recruiting process with different interviews of coaches and players, it also gave us insight into current and/or former players' opinions on the coach of that school in her sport. We could use this information to re-prioritize my daughters list of schools based on this feedback. I have many friends that are, or will be, going through this process shortly and I highly recommend using LRT Sports as part of anyone's recruiting process.
The college process presents a myriad of challenges. Factor in athletics and it becomes even more daunting. Now, add the fact that you have zero experience with sports. What is a the mother of a college bound student-athlete to do? LRT Sports has truly lived up to its promise. It has kept "the college recruiting process honest and easy by providing first hand information about coaches, schools and the recruiting process." Their interviews with current students, coaches, and professional athletes have provided realistic guidance. I am much more informed because of LRT Sports! The coach ratings are the most helpful. LRT Sports interviews allow us to hear from students as to how the adults are impacting not only their athletic experience but also how they are helping to shape their adult self.
The C.A.L.C. was thrilled to have Keirsten Sires come and speak to us on multiple topics relevant to high school athletics today, including recruiting. Keirsten reached all of our students and left them with great strategies that will not only help on the fields, courts, and mats, but also in the game of recruiting. She was a true professional and delivered a wonderful message.
Now that the recruiting process and the related stress is over, I wanted to thank you for your guidance. You did so much more than we had expected. Once you started the process by matching the best academic schools first, not the best sport programs, I knew you were the one. The way you laid out a timeline of contacting coaches, visits, and camps completely took any guesswork out of the plan for us. All of the student athletes that you put us in touch with gave us a look from the inside, and made us more comfortable knowing what was coming. Finally, using your website as a resource for knowing what to expect from different coaches based on former recruit reviews gave my son confidence before our meetings. There is no way we could have figured this out on our own, you really put us in a great position when decision time came.
I think hearing from other athletes is very beneficial. To be able to learn from people’s mistakes, and to be able to have access to those voices is really helpful; especially voices that have been there and done that. It’s very important for people to have access to information that could benefit them, and in this case there are many voices that can help the next wave of athletes.
If you have something that’s going to spell [the recruiting process] out for you… it’s so valuable. I think what everyone at LRT Sports is doing to spread the word and help advocate and educate athletes on the recruitment process is incredible.
Without question would have used LRT Sports. It would have probably been one of the most valuable tools that I could have had. If you want to know what these coaches are really like then I think this is the best tool out there. I’m really glad you are allowing recruits to have a resource like this moving forward.